Family fun walk to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day

Family fun walk to highlight World Suicide Prevention Day

5 September 2018

A FAMILY fun walk to mark World Suicide Prevention Day takes places in Downpatrick later this month.

On Sunday, September 16, Downpatrick District Electoral Area (DEA), in partnership with Flying Horse Ward Community Forum, Downpatrick Suicide Prevention Task Group and County Down Rural Community Network, is hosting a ‘Walk for Life’.

The event, which is free, commences with a teddy bear walk around the perimeter of Dunleath Park. This is followed by a fun-packed activity day including bouncy castles, face painters and balloon modelling.

The event is an opportunity for families throughout the district to come together to show their support for raising awareness of mental health and suicide prevention.

In addition, local support groups will be available on the day to offer support and advice on Suicide Mental Health and addiction.

These include, Policing & Community Safety Partnership, Life Change/Changes Lives, Suicide Down to Zero, Pips, Lifeline, the Samaritans, ASCERT and the local Men’s Shed.

Downpatrick DEA chairman John Trainor said: “This is the first time that local organisations and the Downpatrick DEA have come together to mark this Awareness Day and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

“Northern Ireland has the highest levels of suicide and mental health within the United Kingdom and it is extremely important that people know where to find the support being offered.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to come along with their families, including teddies, to mark such a worthwhile cause.

In addition I would like to draw people’s attention to two very important numbers that offer 24 hour support.  These are Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 and the Samaritans on 116 123.”

He added: “The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the local Health Development Team are encouraging as many groups, workplaces and individuals as possible to mark World Suicide Prevention Day.”

There are free shuttle buses from the Ballymote Centre at 1.30pm, Stream Street at 1.45pm, Meadowlands 1.35pm and Marian Park at 1.45pm.

Anyone requiring further information is asked to contact Katrina Hynds, Downpatrick DEA Co-Ordinator on 07803 832512, or Jenny Laverty, Flying Horse Ward Community Forum, on 028 4461 2311.